The Way of Freedom: At Risk in America

One Nation Under China?

Statue of Liberty

Liberty: At Risk in America

Freedom is dear to us in America: Our constitution guarantees it. Our laws protect it. Our soldiers die defending it.

This Monday, July 4th, we will rightfully celebrate our liberty from Mother England and our freedom, among other things, to self-govern, peaceably assemble, establish our religion free from the tyranny of monarchies or oppressive governments, speak freely in the press and even challenge our government when it fails to represent the people who created it. Let us not take these freedoms lightly: they are precious and worth dying in order to defend.

Too often, though, we think of freedom simply as a commodity to be acquired or purchased – the freedom of a new boat that gets us out on the water, or an early retirement which frees us up to do all the things we’ve longed to do for years but lacked the time, the freedom. But freedom, while certainly worth defending, is hardly a commodity at all.

Freedom is our way of life; it is the path we travel, the road we take. Freedom is the choices we make about who we serve and who we do not serve. Who we allow to have claim on our lives and who we don’t. Bob Dylan once sang, “It may be the devil or it may be the Lord” but we still have to “serve somebody.” As a person of faith, I believe we are most free when we live our lives in the unconditional grace of God; when we serve God first.

Right now our freedom is in jeopardy. We are not serving God first. Instead, unwittingly or wittingly, we serve lesser gods because we are beholding to our debts – both as a nation and as individuals. We live in a nation, the United States of America, which is increasingly owned by absentee landlords in China and other nations abroad who do not always share our faith, values or sense of urgency when it comes to defending freedom.

How can we maintain our liberty in America when we are spending more than we generate and borrow more foreign dollars than we have the ability to repay? How can we protect our liberty here in America when foreign governments have such a high stake in our economy, and an ability to control our national outcomes? I worry that we will surrender our freedom as collateral on debts owed to foreign investors.

As much as the weight of uncontrolled debt presses down on us as individuals and families, our national debt and continued reliance of government spending crushes us as a people. We do not serve God or live in God’s freedom, rather we live bound by the chains of hopelessness, worry and discouragement that comes when serving foreign masters.

This Independence Day, as we fast approach our debt ceiling, I challenge our leaders to come together and resolve our national debt crisis. It’s not just the soldier who we count on to make sacrifices in the name of freedom, but our politicians we have elected to protect our liberty. I ask our leaders – right, left and all between, to sacrifice political ideologies and stubborn partisanships to defend our clearest, shared value – freedom.

This July 4th, let us create a personal and national resolve to defend our liberty from the tyranny of our own government spending and borrowing, and our own dependence on our governments for tax breaks and incentives, buyouts and bailouts. Freedom is our way life; and, right now, it’s counting on us all.


About Hot in Cleveland

Speaker, Civic Leader and Pastor of Cleveland's Historic and Renowned Old Stone Church on Public Square. To view Mark's publications, blog or book a speaking engagement, please visit
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